A Bright Future
Born and raised in Fort Erie, Ontario, Bill’s first career evolved from what initially began as a favorite childhood pastime: swimming. At the age of 19, Bill was working in Singapore as a commercial scuba diver on oil rigs in the South China Sea. The future looked bright for a man already living his dream.
But five years later, Bill was living a nightmare.
Pacing a psychiatric ward, trapped in a world of illusions, delusions, paranoia and depression, Bill was out of reality (in psychosis); he was 24 years old and diagnosed with schizophrenia.
The diagnosis provided an explanation for his erratic and dangerous behavior, but it also spelled the end of Bill’s life as he knew it. He lost his friends, his home, and his will to live. He spent five years lying on his parents’ couch, watching TV and contemplating ways to commit suicide. He tried once. After six hospitalizations and time spent in three separate group homes, Bill knew something had to change if he ever wanted to triumph over the disease and regain control of his life.
With the help of medication, therapy, and the support of his family and a new network of friends, Bill took slow but steady steps on the road to recovery. He embraced new opportunities by volunteering and getting involved with community projects. He took an interest in local politics and sat in on regular town council meetings held at the local public library.
It was there that Bill noticed a book that would change his life: “101 Ways To Start a Business With Little or No Capital.” Intrigued, he paged through the book and was drawn to a story about a woman who, before the advent of VCRs, set up three separate television sets to watch three different soap operas each day. She then started a newsletter for her working friends to keep them updated on the story lines of each. The concept sparked an idea for Bill.
Within a year, Bill launched his business, Magpie Publishing Inc., and published his first Canadian issue of SZ Magazine, a quarterly magazine intended to bring hope and information to people affected by schizophrenia. In 2008 he added a new magazine called Anchor to aid in the recovery of those with depression, anxiety and bipolar disorders.
Since Magpie’s debut in 1994, Bill has prided himself on his work as a mental health advocate to help those who struggle with schizophrenia, just as he once did. In addition to producing SZ Magazine, Bill travels throughout North America to give inspirational talks about how he pulled himself from the depths of depression to become the successful businessman, husband and father he is today. Bill is also the focus of Canadian film maker Mark Ashdown’s 2009 film, Life After Mental Illness: The Story of Bill MacPhee, which not only highlights Bill’s life with schizophrenia, but the stigma attached to the illness as well. In 2014, with the help of co-writer John Mowat, Bill released his heavily anticipated personal biography To Cry a Dry Tear: Bill MacPhee’s journey of hope and recovery with schizophrenia. This book will take you on Bill’s open, honest and fascinating journey from the depths of mental illness and into the bright future of his recovery.
For the past 20 years Bill has lived and breathed recovery. Bill has been speaking at and attending numerous conference and workshops dealing with mental health. He has spent many years drawing best practices from those with mental illness, their caregivers, and other professionals. With Bill’s exposure and first-hand experience he has become a leader in the field who is highly respected in mental health recovery circles. Bill travels North America to help educate others on mental health recovery, and to help eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness.
2015 will see many years of hard work come to fruition as Bill is able to release his Bright Future Program webinar series! This launch allows Bill to increase his ability to reach those who are seeking his message of hope and support. Recovery is when you would not want to be anyone other than who you are today!
Please check Bill’s events calendar to see when he will be in your area, or to request a speaking engagement.